hiemal

The Colors of Magic: spitballing the spectrum

61 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

23 minutes ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

Also interesting is the number of diseases with colors in the name.

Greyscale, Green Fever, Bronze Pate, Red Death, Brownleg, and Yellowgum.

 

That's a gruesome rainbow but a good catch.

Edited by hiemal

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Posted (edited)

25 minutes ago, hiemal said:

I think all three are transformative moments, symbolic rebirths but Dany's does stand out as the only one done by fire. Arya's was done by a black brother and Cerseir's by a grey sister?

Absolutely they are transformative moments! :D I was thinking about bringing this up in my post but thought well Arya’s isn't as transformative because I was thinking 

Spoiler

About how she is bald in her Mercy chapter. 

Which is still somewhat transformative but not to the level of Dany and Cersei's transformation. I had totally forgot about Yoren's cutting! :(

Is it a stretch to say Arya was cut by black (which also happens to be a color she is often associated with), Cersei is cut by grey, and Dany is cut by red (a color she is often associated with as well)? Am I reaching here?

Edited by OtherFromAnotherMother
Mispelled bald with balled. Because I'm a baller? Nope.

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9 minutes ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

Absolutely they are transformative moments! :D I was thinking about bringing this up in my post but thought well Arya’s isn't as transformative because I was thinking 

  Reveal hidden contents

About how she is balled in her Mercy chapter. 

Which is still somewhat transformative but not to the level of Dany and Cersei's transformation. I had totally forgot about Yoren's cutting! :(

Is it a stretch to say Arya was cut by black (which also happens to be a color she is often associated with), Cersei is cut by grey, and Dany is cut by red (a color she is often associated with as well)? Am I reaching here?

Not at all! I like it.

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On 3/5/2017 at 0:30 AM, The Fattest Leech said:

I haven't seen yellow mentioned yet. 

Yellow should be looked into as well 

 

now that hat I think about it, maybe yellow links more to other, nonmagical actions :dunno:

Yellow/gold is probably the most straightforward color in our story. It always ties back to wealth and power. Also honor and glory. The Lannisters and Illyrio Mopatis (some of the most wealthy people in our story) are always closely tied to yellow. But yellow also has a second meaning which seems to be disease, illness, corruption or death. Yunkai is a literal yellow city which is pretty wealthy and powerful but also has an air of corruption or something rotten living inside. The Yellow Whale is a perfect example of both these two themes together: he's an extremely wealthy man but is disgustingly sick, depraved and dying. 

Whenever GRRM describes rotting bodies and dead people he also uses the color yellow a lot, like the Kindly Man's skull, for example. The Golden Company's standard is a good combination of both these things -- gold and glory covering the skulls of dead men.
Unrelated shout-out to my boy Viserys!

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9 hours ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

There is another important woman who loses their hair... Daenerys! Granted, it wasn't cut like Arya and Cersei but still...

So...

Cersei: Bald from exposure.

Arya: Bald for hiding.

Daenerys: Bald from transformation.

 

Oh heck yeah.  There are so many ways to go with all of it.   Dany's hair torching is so important and shouldn't be overlooked.   Thanks for bringing it up.

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16 hours ago, hiemal said:

I wouldn't have guessed so because of the alloyed nature of bronze but I'm open to the idea.

See bronze is treated as "the true steel" in an unexpected way in this story, I think.

We have the Martell arms (sun is bronze), Bronze Yohn (magic rune breastplate), the Unsullied (spiked caps), the wildlings (some have bronze weapons or armor) and bronze medallion belts pop up from time to time.

10 hours ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

Continuing with the brown being treacherous theme... Ser Bennis of the Brown Shield was treacherous as well. Stole from Ser Osgrey then took off. Just a brown jerk of a dude in general...

Exactly! I have a hard time picturing him as a dragon-favourite with his bo, but hey Nettles was smelly too. He is unsympathetic enough to deserve a second meeting with Dunk.

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18 hours ago, hiemal said:

I'm betting he had at least one green eye.

:)

My guess is that Lann was GEotD, so he may not have needed information from the children because he brought his own trove of gadgets and tricks from back to home to impress the natives?

There's a fun thought! That crazy Lann, what is he going to do next? 

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Black is a color often associated with magic.

Asshai: built with black stone that "seem to drink the light" (a very special black stone obviously, but that is a different discussion). Asshai, of course, is home to accepted practices of warlocks, wizards, alchemists, moonsingers, red priests, black alchemists, necromancers, aeromancers, pyromancers, bloodmages, torturers, inquisitors, poisoners, godswives, night-walkers, shapechangers, worshippers of the Black Goat and the Pale Child. Mellisandre remarks in her POV that her powers are only stronger at the wall (which says a lot about the multicolored wall's magic). Asshai even has its own "shadow".

It is also where, IMO, dragons came from.

Quote

He lifted his eyes and saw clear across the narrow sea, to the Free Cities and the green Dothraki sea and beyond, to Vaes Dothrak under its mountain, to the fabled lands of the Jade Sea, to Asshai by the Shadow, where dragons stirred beneath the sunrise. (Bran III, GOT)

"Stirring beneath the sunrise" signifies a birth or beginning to me.

We also have some information from the world book:

Quote

In Asshai, the tales are many and confused, but certain texts—all impossibly ancient—claim that dragons first came from the Shadow, a place where all of our learning fails us. These Asshai'i histories say that a people so ancient they had no name first tamed dragons in the Shadow and brought them to Valyria, teaching the Valyrians their arts before departing from the annals.

A magical black city for sure. 

 

 

We also see black as a prominent color for several of our magical undead characters. 

Wights and Coldhands, Mellisandre and her shadow baby, 

Quote

Panting, she squatted and spread her legs. Blood ran down her thighs, black as ink. Her cry might have been agony or ecstasy or both. And Davos saw the crown of the child's head push its way out of her. Two arms wriggled free, grasping, black fingers coiling around Melisandre's straining thighs, pushing, until the whole of the shadow slid out into the world and rose taller than Davos, tall as the tunnel, towering above the boat.

Our favorite representative for all things magic, Lord Beric, has magical black blood. We could do a whole magical color based breakdown of that fella.

Drogon the magical reptile is also black and has black blood. I want to know if all dragon blood is black. Does anyone have an answer? I know that black is not used to describe Viserion’s blood here: 

Quote

"No," he screamed, "no, don't, don't," but it was too late. The fool was all that he had time to think as the quarrel caromed off Viserion's neck to vanish in the gloom. A line of fire gleamed in its wake—dragon's blood, glowing gold and red.

but I was never sure if that is because of the fire in the darkness reflecting making it appear gold and red.

Anyways, there is a ton more on black that could be added, but I've got to go for now.

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4 hours ago, OtherFromAnotherMother said:

Black is a color often associated with magic.

Asshai: built with black stone that "seem to drink the light" (a very special black stone obviously, but that is a different discussion). Asshai, of course, is home to accepted practices of warlocks, wizards, alchemists, moonsingers, red priests, black alchemists, necromancers, aeromancers, pyromancers, bloodmages, torturers, inquisitors, poisoners, godswives, night-walkers, shapechangers, worshippers of the Black Goat and the Pale Child. Mellisandre remarks in her POV that her powers are only stronger at the wall (which says a lot about the multicolored wall's magic). Asshai even has its own "shadow".

It is also where, IMO, dragons came from.

"Stirring beneath the sunrise" signifies a birth or beginning to me.

We also have some information from the world book:

A magical black city for sure. 

 

 

We also see black as a prominent color for several of our magical undead characters. 

Wights and Coldhands, Mellisandre and her shadow baby, 

Our favorite representative for all things magic, Lord Beric, has magical black blood. We could do a whole magical color based breakdown of that fella.

Drogon the magical reptile is also black and has black blood. I want to know if all dragon blood is black. Does anyone have an answer? I know that black is not used to describe Viserion’s blood here: 

but I was never sure if that is because of the fire in the darkness reflecting making it appear gold and red.

Anyways, there is a ton more on black that could be added, but I've got to go for now.

Indeed, great post! :)

Some add:

In Volantis, the Black Wall, where only Old Blood are allowed to live within them.

The story of the Black Brides

House Hoare, their "black line" and Andals. Black blood seems associated often with Power and mystery.

 

Sorry I'm a bit sleepy right now :P

 

 

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11 hours ago, Sigella said:

See bronze is treated as "the true steel" in an unexpected way in this story, I think.

We have the Martell arms (sun is bronze), Bronze Yohn (magic rune breastplate), the Unsullied (spiked caps), the wildlings (some have bronze weapons or armor) and bronze medallion belts pop up from time to time.

I don't think the significance of bronze can be overstated and I think it is tied as a metal to various aspects of the First Men- runes and rituals chief among them. I think it can be linked thematically with amber, both the color and the substance, as something that captures the present and preserves it in perpetuity as well as the actual color bronze. "We remember."

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While I'm on the subject of metals- what about the significance of white, red, and yellow gold?

Dragonbinder had bands of red gold with Valyrian glyphs, iirc and I think it was mined beneath the fourteen flames.

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15 minutes ago, hiemal said:

I don't think the significance of bronze can be overstated and I think it is tied as a metal to various aspects of the First Men- runes and rituals chief among them. I think it can be linked thematically with amber, both the color and the substance, as something that captures the present and preserves it in perpetuity as well as the actual color bronze. "We remember."

Wow! I think you are on to something here. Good stuff. 

When reading the bold I immediately thought of this:

Quote

Then, as he watched, a bearded man forced a captive down onto his knees before the heart tree. A white-haired woman stepped toward them through a drift of dark red leaves, a bronze sickle in her hand.

"No," said Bran, "no, don't," but they could not hear him, no more than his father had. The woman grabbed the captive by the hair, hooked the sickle round his throat, and slashed. And through the mist of centuries the broken boy could only watch as the man's feet drummed against the earth … but as his life flowed out of him in a red tide, Brandon Stark could taste the blood.

(Bran III, DwD)

Talk about the symbolism of bronze as "we remember"... Here Bran is literally seeing bronze in the memories of the trees and receiving a "we remember" blood sacrifice moment. 

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OK some colour summaries - feel free to add

The order is 1 main feature, 2 groups/beings, 3, magic plants and similar, 4 houses, 5 beasts, 6 people, 7 hair, 8 eyes

White - 1(Ice, snow), 2 (others), 3(weirwood), 4 (STARK) 5 (Ghost White Dragons), 6 (Jon possibly Sansa, Val), 7.(Tyrion,Targaryans) 8 (Bolton ice eyes)

Black - 1 (fire) 2 (Night Watch, Asshai)  3 (ebony), 4 (Targaryan), 5 (SHAGGY, Black dragons), 6 (Dany and possibly Rickon), 7(Baratheon black hair), 8(Jon Black eyes, Tyrion one black eye)

Grey (also a mixture of red and black) - 1(?), 2 (?), 3(?), 4 (STARK) 5 (Grey wind), 6 (Robb possibly Sansa), 7.(?)  8(Arya)

Blue - 1(Saphires), 2 (the sorcerers, the others, Company of the blue rose), 3(blue rose ), 4 (Arryn, Tarth), 5 (?), 6 (?), 7.(Tyroshi)  8(Tully, Baratheon)

Red -1(blood, fire), 2 (Red priests), 3 (weirwood, magic swords), 4 (Targ) 5 (Ghost,  Dragons), 6 (Mel, Dany), 7.(wildings possibly Tully, and all the Stark kids except Arya) 8 (jojen, BR and CoF, Ghost)

Yellow -1( corruption), 2 (others), 3(?), 4 ( Illyrio), 5 (Ghost White Dragons), 6 (Jon possibly Sansa), 7.(Lannister) 8( Lady, and grey wind)

Orange/gold (mixture of Red and yellow) 1(gold), 2 (Gold cloaks), 3(?), 4 (/) 5 (), 6 (Jaime, Cersai), 7.(lannisters) 8(Nymeria)

Purple (mixture of Red and blue) 1(?), 2 (?), 3(?), 4 (?) 5 (), 6 (?), 7. (tyroshi), 8 (Targs and Daynes)

Green (mixture of yellow and blue) 1(?), 2 (CoF, order of the Green knights), 3(Most plants), 4 (?) 5 (Viserion), 6 (?), 7. (?), 8 (Tyrion, Lannister, Shaggy)

Brown (mixture of yellow and blue and red) 1(mudd, earth), 2 (?), 3(Most plants), 4 (Mudds, ) 5 (?), 6 (?), 7. (Arya, Jon, Ned), 8 (Many I think)

 

Hope this helps

 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Luddagain said:

OK some colour summaries - feel free to add

The order is 1 main feature, 2 groups/beings, 3, magic plants and similar, 4 houses, 5 beasts, 6 people, 7 hair, 8 eyes

White - 1(Ice, snow), 2 (others), 3(weirwood), 4 (STARK) 5 (Ghost White Dragons), 6 (Jon possibly Sansa, Val), 7.(Tyrion,Targaryans) 8 (Bolton ice eyes)

Black - 1 (fire) 2 (Night Watch, Asshai)  3 (ebony), 4 (Targaryan), 5 (SHAGGY, Black dragons), 6 (Dany and possibly Rickon), 7(Baratheon black hair), 8(Jon Black eyes, Tyrion one black eye)

Grey (also a mixture of red and black) - 1(?), 2 (?), 3(?), 4 (STARK) 5 (Grey wind), 6 (Robb possibly Sansa), 7.(?)  8(Arya)

Blue - 1(Saphires), 2 (the sorcerers, the others, Company of the blue rose), 3(blue rose ), 4 (Arryn, Tarth), 5 (?), 6 (?), 7.(Tyroshi)  8(Tully, Baratheon)

Red -1(blood, fire), 2 (Red priests), 3 (weirwood, magic swords), 4 (Targ) 5 (Ghost,  Dragons), 6 (Mel, Dany), 7.(wildings possibly Tully, and all the Stark kids except Arya) 8 (jojen, BR and CoF, Ghost)

Yellow -1( corruption), 2 (others), 3(?), 4 ( Illyrio), 5 (Ghost White Dragons), 6 (Jon possibly Sansa), 7.(Lannister) 8( Lady, and grey wind)

Orange/gold (mixture of Red and yellow) 1(gold), 2 (Gold cloaks), 3(?), 4 (/) 5 (), 6 (Jaime, Cersai), 7.(lannisters) 8(Nymeria)

Purple (mixture of Red and blue) 1(?), 2 (?), 3(?), 4 (?) 5 (), 6 (?), 7. (tyroshi), 8 (Targs and Daynes)

Green (mixture of yellow and blue) 1(?), 2 (CoF, order of the Green knights), 3(Most plants), 4 (?) 5 (Viserion), 6 (?), 7. (?), 8 (Tyrion, Lannister, Shaggy)

Brown (mixture of yellow and blue and red) 1(mudd, earth), 2 (?), 3(Most plants), 4 (Mudds, ) 5 (?), 6 (?), 7. (Arya, Jon, Ned), 8 (Many I think)

 

Hope this helps

 

Very nice!

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My guess for the Seven and their associated colors in Roy G. Biv format:

Red: The Smith

Orange: The Crone

Yellow: The Mother

Green: The Father

Blue: The Warrior

Indigo: The Stranger

Violet: The Maiden

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Posted (edited)

Some musing on green:

So I've been thinking green both as natural growth and transformation and as unnatural growth and transformation and the hungers and urges that might be associated with both as well it's prominence in the Reach and I'd like to drop some serious tinfoil:

Garth Greenhand became the Merling King! It's not fully spun but I'm thinking about the Manderlys and their migration/transformation and some other tinfoils about the relationship between the merlings, the Children, and the Deep Ones. And on the origins of the Manderlys and whether their home on the Mander might have also been a place of refuge at one time and their association with green and their notorious appetites.

Bonus: This could either through marriage to the Merling Queen or by literal transformation!

Edited by hiemal

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That's an awesome idea, hiemal! I can't recall, does House Manderly claim descent from Garth? 

I kind of like the idea of marriage to the Merling Queen making him king. Seems a bit more likely than him turning into a merling himself given that he's associated with earth/green magic for the most part.

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

That's an awesome idea, hiemal! I can't recall, does House Manderly claim descent from Garth? 

 

They do not, and are not mentioned in the WoIaF as such, either- there's a LOT of tinfoil in this one. I don't think their origins along the Mander are ever discussed which is why I've fitting them into various empty spots to see what pictures might emerge. So far, I have (from most prosaic to most crackpot):

1: The Manderlys were Andal invaders. Yawn.

2. The Manderlys were displaced Stormlanders granted asylum along the Mander from the Andals. More interesting or at least it has more intersting possibilities for me.

3. The Manderlys are the descendants of a union between Garth and the Merling Queen, who were granted asylum along the Mander from the Deep Ones (think Northmen vs. Ironborn and the Manderlys role on the White Knife).

4. The Manderlys are the descendants of Garth- who became a merling when parts of his realm were submerged during the war between the Children of the Forest and the Deep Ones. This could have happened before the First Men came to Westeros or afterwards.

3 hours ago, Lady Blizzardborn said:

 

I kind of like the idea of marriage to the Merling Queen making him king. Seems a bit more likely than him turning into a merling himself given that he's associated with earth/green magic for the most part.

It's a pretty big leap, but it was the nature of the color green and its basic lack of potent association with the Children and the Weirwood system of magic. Red eyes endure, green eyes dwindle and are consumed by the power within them? I see the Manderlys tie with green as a sign of their mer-ish hunger which led them turn on their Lords in the Reach and the their immense size (and willingness to eat human flesh?). And the Merling King is just a weird sigil for a house linked twice with rivers and never the sea.

Oh- and I am guessing that the merlings could basically be Children of the Drowned Forests, remnants of their highly mutable race that survived when their war with the Deep Ones ended with large parts of the continent being submerged during the Gray King/Nagga event.

Or the results of forced breeding experiments carried out by the Deep Ones on either CotF or human stock. Either way, I think a few might have made their way to the Mander at some point.

So much tinfoil...

 

Edited by hiemal

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Have a think about the Manderly sigil - a trident - think Poisidon/neptune. The Manderlys probably are the Merling kings but totally loyal to the Greenhands (whatever they may be)

There is of course another fellow from the Reach, also exiled who has converted to the old gods and is generally described as a whale. He is a known descendent of the Gardiners.  He is also wily and clever and seemingly loyal like the Manderlys.

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1 hour ago, Luddagain said:

Have a think about the Manderly sigil - a trident - think Poisidon/neptune. The Manderlys probably are the Merling kings but totally loyal to the Greenhands (whatever they may be)

There is of course another fellow from the Reach, also exiled who has converted to the old gods and is generally described as a whale. He is a known descendent of the Gardiners.  He is also wily and clever and seemingly loyal like the Manderlys.

He is certainly a fish out water at the Wall and he has a voracious appetite for knowledge. Perhaps it will be him who puts an arrow through Euron's smiling eye?

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